Michael Kong: Clarify the term “Sarawakian”

Michael Kong

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KUCHING, Nov 29: Special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Michael Kong opined the term “Sarawakian” used in the proposal to amend Article 16 (2) to define a “resident in the State” should be made clear in the constitutional level to avoid further confusions.

According to Kong, the definition of a “Sarawakian” to some, is one who was born in the state, and to others, the standard is even higher than that and it should be confined to one who was born in the state to biological parents who were also born in the state.

“Who is a Sarawakian? This is something that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has refused to answer and even refused to mention the word “Sarawakian” in the constitution of the state of Sarawak.

“Some quarters view “Sarawakians” as people who have treated Sarawak as their permanent home. Whatever the view is, the difference in opinion stems from the fact that there is no mention of the word “Sarawakian” in our constitution and thus no definition for the word “Sarawakian”.

“After going on the media circus to proclaim itself as a defender of “Sarawakians” rights, it is time for GPS to subscribe a definition to Sarawak. The best chance to do so was during by incorporating it in the constitutional amendment on Nov 12,2020. Sadly, this was not done.” he said in a press statement today.

Kong pointed out that GPS could have easily proposed that ‘resident of the State’ (which is as mentioned in the Federal Constitution) shall be Sarawakians, and from there a proper definition would be given to the term “Sarawakians”.

He said instead of challenging DAP to mount a legal action to seek the court’s interpretation of the recent constitutional amendment, GPS should have proceeded with inserting the term ’Sarawakian’ and this would have made the criteria to be a member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) solely for Sarawakians.

“If GPS had agreed to incorporate the term ‘Sarawakian’, then it would have been a situation of empowering people from Sarawak. Otherwise, all arguments put forth by GPS are only words meant to please the ears of the public but with no real substance,” he added. – DayakDaily.